Festival Of Oneness: Manipur’s Biggest Cultural Extravaganza Aims To Strengthen Socio-Economic Milieu

No Comments
Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Manipur is hosting the biggest 10-day cultural extravaganza – Sangai Festival 2022, to promote the illustrious culture, art and traditions, pristine landscape, and strengthen the socio-economic milieu.

Organized by the Department of Tourism, this festival staged under the theme ‘Festival of Oneness’ returned after a pandemic-induced hiatus of nearly two years.

It has been inaugurated by the Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) – G. Kishan Reddy, along with the Chief Minister of Manipur – N. Biren Singh at the Sangai Ethnic Park in Moirang Khunou, Bishnupur.

The inauguration was followed by the release of balloons, delivering the presentation regarding the concerned festival, and the theme song by Mangka Laihui.

During the cultural fest, the Union Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises – Narayan Tatu Rane, the Manipur CM – N. Biren Singh & the DoNER Minister – G. Kishan Reddy delivered speeches, on how to place the event in the global arena. Later, the DoNER Minister also inspected the traditional huts and interacted with different tribes/communities.

On the second day, the Manipur CM inaugurated the 14th Manipur Polo International Festival 2022 at Mapal Kangjeibung. The construction work of the much-awaited 120-feet-tall effigy of Sagol Kangjei (Polo) player installed at Heingang hill, the shrine of Ibudhou Marjing in Imphal East, has been completed. It will uphold the great religious and mythological significance linked with the sport.

This gigantic Polo statue located above the hill top of Ebudhou Marjing hills, a semi-god who started Sagol Kangjei (polo) will popularize Manipur – the birthplace of polo sport. Besides, the project will enhance tourist footfall, thereby generating employment opportunities for the local populace.

“In the 1850s, the British observed Manipuris play a sport using a pony and a hockey-like stick. Influenced by the game, Britishers later formed a polo club in Silchar. It is believed that the Manipur King – Kanba invented the game in the 14th century BC. While, the first polo match was conducted in 33 AD by King Nongda,” – informed an official statement.

It is worth noting that the documentation of Manipuri Pony was first mentioned in the Manipur Royal Chronicle, dated 1584. The next century witnessed its frequent reference in Manipuri literature.

Their usage as efficient cavalry horses proceeded throughout the 17th and 18th century. In fact, the Meitei warriors rode on them in their pursuit of victory and these horses were an essential part of the cavalry used by the Manipuri ruler Garib Newaz.

The northeastern state upholds the origin of modern polo, the famed Shirui lily flower, Loktak lake – an ecological wonder, black rice and black nungbi pottery.

A microcosm of unique cultural diversity, the festival will showcase the state’s tourism potential in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom, Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine, Music, Adventure sports, homestay, songs and dances, heritage walk, cherry blossom etc., which is an attempt to promote Manipur as the next tourism destination.

The ‘Festival of Oneness’ is spread across 12 venues, where the visitors can witness 34 Traditional indigenous huts, Manipur Weaves Fashion Shows, Sangai Run, Tourism Pavilion, Longman, Flower Show, Indigenous Cultural Programmes, Night Tourism, Handloom and Handicrafts, Tug-of-War, Arambai Show, Mukna competition, Yubi Lakpi, Sagol Lamjei (Horse Race), Arambai, Men’s International Polo Tournament at Mapal Kangjeibung, CM’s Sagol Kangjei Tournament at Kangla, Film Screenings, MMA among others.

Dubbed after the State Animal – the brow-antlered deer or Eld’s deer or Sangai deer, the festival aims to emphasize measures to conserve the endangered species.

It faces threat from continuously deteriorating habitat of phumdi as a result of constant inundation and deluge caused due to artificial reservoirs. In the meantime, diseases from the livestock, inbreeding depression and poaching also poses challenges to the species.

Moreover, the event sheds light on some of the best indigenous handlooms and handicraft products. One can witness the creativity of the tribes through their unique handloom and handicrafts exhibited in the global arena along with the three GI tagged Handlooms from Manipur – Wangkhei Phee, Sa phee-lan-phee and Moirang phee.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More Articles